History, culture & writing

History, Culture & Writing

Explore our extraordinary range of History, Culture and Writing courses and lectures. We offer both introductory and specialist in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, from ‘How to read a film’ and World literature, to writing creative non-fiction and American history and politics.

Study online from the comfort of home, with interactive classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information, please see our guide to online learning.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many have published, teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion through presentations, readings, interactive discussion and exercises, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit Learning community.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place online now.

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  1. Writing fiction
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Lovers of fiction can develop their creative writing skills on this practical intermediate course. You'll explore the fundamentals of fiction writing craft such as character and structure, and unlock your imagination to produce compelling prose. Suitable for those with some creative writing experience.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    86% of 100
  2. Creative non-fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 13 Oct 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore practical and imaginative approaches to creative non fiction, including travel writing, life writing and the essay. Analyse published work, produce your own pieces, and benefit from detailed feedback.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
  3. Writing for children
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Always wanted to write a children's book? This practical course will develop your ability to write for different age groups and genres of contemporary children's fiction. (Please note this two-term course is payable in two instalments.).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £389.00 Senior fee £389.00 Concession £156.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. UK politics for beginners
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Brexit and then COVID have dominated the headlines, but this won’t last for ever. This courses offers an introduction to British politics so you are well prepared whether we return to business as usual… or a new normal.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £35.00
  5. History of Scandinavia: ancient and medieval
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course is the first in a two-part programme on the history and culture of Scandinavia and its diaspora from time immemorial to the present. This first course will cover the ancient and medieval periods.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £57.00
  6. Short story writing
    Last Few Places, Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    A hands-on introduction to the art of writing short stories. You will receive technical advice, creative exercises to generate ideas, and feedback to develop your writing skills.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  7. Murder, Romance and Suspense: the films of Alfred Hitchcock
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the work of the 'master of suspense' from innovative early films, including The Lodger, Blackmail and The 39 Steps, to late masterpieces, including Rear Window, Vertigo and Psycho. We will consider each phase of Hitchcock's career, his approach to filmmaking, the structure and style of his films, their major themes, and a range of key critical accounts of his career and films.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  8. Introduction to Charles Booths’ London
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    During this six-week course, we will explore aspects of Charles Booth’s landmark survey ‘Life & Labour of the People in London’, published in 17 volumes between 1889 and 1903.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £57.00
  9. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Not sure whether creative writing is for you? Give it a try on one of these fun and supportive short courses covering the basics of fiction and poetry. Increase your confidence and produce work through guided exercises and discussion.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  10. The Complete Ishiguro, Part 1: 1980-1999
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 29 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Take a deep dive into the world of Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, from his early short stories and TV screenplays to the first four novels, including The Remains of the Day (1989). Discover the influences, themes and context that led to the author’s development and explore the styles and techniques through which he expresses his unique vision.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  11. Writers on Writing
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 29 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Over the course of these six weeks, we will explore essays by a range of different writers, including Virginia Woolf, Alexander Chee, Brian Dillon, Patricia Lockwood, James Baldwin, and Wayne Koestenbaum, and explore the vastly different ways these artists envision their craft.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00
  12. Making the American World: US foreign policy from the Cold War to Biden
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 13 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Follow the ascendancy of American power, from 1945 up to the Biden administration, through a history of wars, foreign interventions and “soft power”. Tutor: Jack Gain.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £57.00
  13. Creative non-fiction: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Sep 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you had experiences that will move, delight or entertain readers? This taster session in creative-non fiction explores approaches to capturing your most poignant moments and crafting them into inspiring pieces of literature.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  14. Japan at the Pictures
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 20 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will introduce you to the cinema of Japan, one of the world’s most important national cinemas. It will introduce you to films by major Japanese directors, such as Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi and Kitano. It will also explore the aesthetics of these films, situating them within their broader historical, cultural, critical and industrial contexts. It will also look at the functioning of genre and the peculiarities of the star system within Japanese filmmaking.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £91.00
  15. History of Scandinavia: modern and contemporary
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 3 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course is the second in a two-part programme on the history and culture of Scandinavia and its diaspora from time immemorial to the present. This second course builds on the foundations laid in the first course to show how deep foundations laid before (and unexpected events during) modernity led to the Scandinavia we know today.



    Please note there will be no class on 17/11/21. This missed session will be made up on 15/12/21.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £57.00

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